Q: I was married for 19 years (we were together for 26 years). My marriage ended because she had a boyfriend. Now I'm trying to find someone new, but this dating thing is foreign territory to me. How do I get back into the swing of things and find a new love? -- Larry, 50
Dr. Susan: I don't have to tell you how the world of dating has changed over the past quarter century. But while it may seem that nothing at all is the same, that's a superficial analysis. Essentially, people haven't changed that much. You're 50, and so you'd be seeking women from perhaps age 40 to 55 or so to date. Such women are seeking what they always have, a man who is respectful, funny, generous, cute, and exciting at times. I would give you the same advice I'd give a young man starting out for the first time: spread a wide net and remain open-minded. Don't rule out women based on superficial qualities (ten pounds overweight, not much fashion sense, whatever). Make a point of not letting your wife's unfortunate betrayal mess up your sense of adventure. Not all women are untrustworthy, so look at each date as a new person and give her a chance. When you first re-enter the dating pool, don't think too directly of seeking a "new love," but of re-learning the ropes, getting to feel comfortable with today's single women, and practicing your social skills. Join everything you have time and the inclination for, from the Sierra Club to a local political party to a library's friends' group. Become interesting (not bitter, not negative) and you will attract your share of women friends. Try the casual route of going from friend to date. Be honest when you like someone, but avoid seeming desperate.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.